How to Ace a Phone Interview

You’ve finally decided that you’re ready for the next step in your professional career. You’ve been searching job boards and applying to jobs that sound interesting to you. Finally, a note back from an employer, hoping to get you on the phone for a telephone interview. Woo!

Interviewing is one of the most nerve wrecking tasks, and not being able to see your interviewer face to face can sometimes be even more terrifying. You won’t be able to see your interviewer’s facial cues to your answers and they won’t be able to see you or sense your enthusiasm for the job.  Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get and ace that interview:

Do your research on the company.

You want to find out of this is a company that you’ll enjoy working for, and you want to make sure that it’ll be a good fit for you.  See what the company’s history is, what their stock holdings might be, and any other little tidbits that you can find about their company goals. Also, be sure that you understand the job description and the responsibilities that you will be undertaking. Coming to the interview with some prior knowledge about the company shows initiative.

Have your resume printed out in front of you.

You might have to reference your resume to explain your duties further, report dates, etc. I suggest having an abridged copy of your resume where you can easily read off your responsibilities rather than reading the prior job descriptions right off your resume.
Find a quiet place to take the call. Whether you have to lock yourself in your closet (make sure you have good cell signal first!) or you have a quiet working office at home, make sure there won’t be any noisy interruptions.

Be prepared with questions for the recruiter.

Always write a few questions down prior to the interview – whether it is questions about the role or questions about the company’s culture, have 3-4 on hand to ask the recruiter towards the end of the interview. If they’ve answered all of your questions and you don’t have anything else offhand that you can think about, tell them that they’ve done a great job answering all the questions you had.

Even though you can’t see your interviewer, act as if you’re facing them!

You can dress up, smile, and pretend that you’re talking to them instead of speaking through the phone. This will help make you sound more confident.

Always have a glass of water nearby.

This serves two purposes: quenching your thirst and giving you something to pause and consider questions with.  It’s okay to take a moment to compose your thoughts when you’re asked something! Interviewers prefer a well thought out answer rather than babbling.

When you are all done with the interview, be sure to send out a thank you note to whomever took the time to speak to you.

Not only does it show that you’re appreciative that they took the time out to speak to you, it serves as a reminder of your candidacy. You can even touch briefly on why you think you’re qualified for the job; just don’t brag too much.

Are there any other phone interview strategies that you know about?  Feel free to share them in the comments below!

For more information about job interviews a quick Google search or The 4 Questions Every Millennial Should Ask in a Job Interview is a good start.

Kristina Mahar

Kristina Mahar is currently living and working in Connecticut. She currently works at GE Capital supporting a team of IT CIOs, which keeps her busy and happy. Prior to her role at GE Capital, Kristina has worked at an international hedge fund, a technology center of excellence, and as a writer. Although new to the world of blogging, Kristina has been writing since the moment she could hold a pen. Follow Kristina on Twitter @KristinaMahar.</